After a banner fall season last year, much of the discussion of preseason championship favorites centered around Rockhurst.
The Hawklets swim team lived up to its dynamic billing, winning a record eighth straight swim title last week. Reigning Gatorade State Runner of the Year Zach Herriott earned success as well, shaking off a 13th-place finish at this year's state meet to qualify for the prestigious Nike Cross National meet in Oregon next month.
The football and soccer teams weren't so fortunate. Rockhurst's bid to defend its gridiron title fell short after a 28-7 loss to Blue Springs South in the Class 6 quarterfinals. Likewise, the Hawklets' soccer team lost 2-1 in double overtime to Lee's Summit West in the district playoff championship.
Since then, Lee's Summit West has advanced to the Class 3 semifinals, where they will face a strong DeSmet squad led by All-State player Louis Berra. Oakville will take on Rock Bridge in the other semifinal on Friday.
In Class 2 soccer, St. Louis Priory is chasing history — and itself. Heading into Friday's semifinal versus Helias, the 25-0 Rebels are looking to become just the second team in the state to ever go undefeated without a loss or tie. The first? The 2005 Priory squad that went 26-0 en route to the state crown. The Rebels are certainly the favorite, boasting a defense that's posted 22 shutouts and an offense that's outscored opponents 104-5 this season. They are currently ranked No. 14 in the POWERADE FAB 50 and would face either Trinity or Smithville should they win.
Brandon Parker covers Missouri for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.